Courgette shoestring fries
Well this just about seals my conversion from courgette sceptic to zealot. I spent a lot of my life avoiding courgette because I had this memory of watery, bland mush of a vegetable which brought nothing to anything. However, through a process which started with Pasta Marie Grazia (see this blog) and led through various other recipes also now on here such as fritters, salads etc I realise I am wrong, and have now repented.
This simple recipe, which is also from Polpo (thanks Boy) is so easy I have done it twice this week already (its Thursday for the record) as an "appetiser". I know, appetisers during the week, that is how easy it is. You can feed 2-3 people with one courgette (depending on its size) as an appetiser and I can imagine this becoming a staple with a glass of something cold before a meal in the summer months.
I know deep frying seems kind of counter the whole virtue of vegetables thing, but it is really a light frying. As with all good recipes (it seems to me) with courgette, what you are doing is getting rid of a lot of the water so that the flavour is intensified and to alter the texture to give them some bite. It works - and I have fed this to the Middle and Youngest Girls this week, who have eaten it with gusto - and it's courgette, something they would normally run a mile from.
This is a lot easier to make if you have a mandolin with a comb attachment, as making the shoestrings becomes a moments work. I would suggest this recipe justifies the expense if you don't have one!
1 courgette per 2 people (as an appetiser)
Vegetable oil, for frying
Cut the courgette lengthwise into 4mm by 4mm strings. This is easy with a mandoline, more time consuming by hand but still not too much of a chore.
Put a few cm of oil in a deep pan and heat to 190C - where it browns a cube of bread in under a minute.
Take a handful of the courgette strings and dredge them in the milk (which is in a bowl, of course - the milk doesn't need to be too deep). Remove from the milk and vigorosly shake the strings to get the excess liquid off.
Drop the strings into the seasoned flour and toss them around in it to coat them - give them some height as you move them around as you really want to avoid them clumping together.
put the strings into the hot oil and fry until just golden - around 3 minutes. The high water content means the oil will bubble furiously at first, which is why it needs to be in a deep pan.
Remove the cooked strings with a slotted spoon and drop onto a sheet of kitchen paper to absorb excess il. Repeat the process with the remaingin courgettes, one handful at a time to keep them all separate.
Sprinkle with a little salt and eat quickly